Many people would like to travel but “that something” is always preventing from starting traveling. There will always be reasons why not to travel but the fact is that dreams can always come true if you just decide so. That’s why we want to break the most common myths that stop you from going abroad. We also want to share some inspiration by sharing other traveler’s stories.
Are you one of those that have always dreamed of traveling but haven’t done it for one reason or another? Hopefully this article will make you think about it from a new angle. Traveling doesn’t always have to mean a one-year world trip but you can see a lot even in a short time if you just plan the trip well.
Money is for sure the most common reason why people skip their holiday trips. “ I wish I had also money to travel” or “how can you afford to travel so long” are quite common comments that we keep hearing. What if you ask yourself honestly is the lack of money really a reason not to travel? How much did you spend last weekend in the bar and were those two shirts you bought last week really necessary?
You don’t need to be a millionaire to travel the world.
Traveling might feel expensive but even small sums can grow nice savings in one year. You don’t need to be a millionaire to travel the world. What if you start to put 20 dollars aside from your bank account every week? In practice, this means buying a bit less meat in the supermarket and a few beers less in the bar. In one month you will get $80 and in one year $960 savings. With this money you can easily make a two-week holiday trip almost anywhere.
We have spent a bit more than $3000 each during our six months travels which is not a very big price for a big bunch of new countries and experiences. When we started saving money for the trip, we were working in Poland where the salary level is definitely not high. We put almost half of the salary directly to the savings account and still we could afford to pay not only the everyday expenses but also make small trips at least once a month and go out every week.
Saving money for traveling doesn’t have to be just skimping. What is crucial though, is to put money aside regularly and consciously set goals. Many people surely recognize the phenomenon that the money just magically disappears from the bank account before the next salary day. We kept our motivation up by visualizing the things concretely. In many countries 5 bucks is not a big money and it’s easy to spend it on impulsive purchases. But in Asia you can pay several warm meals or a hostel night with that amount. Eventually, saving is all about very small sacrifices.
It’s common to complain that I should have started traveling when I was young. We have good news for you though: it’s never too late to start traveling! During our travels, we have met several backpackers that are more than 70 and travel the world by themselves. Traveling helps to keep your mind brisk – and what would be a better hobby when the retirement days come closer.
As an inspiring example we want to tell about a Russian 89 years old lady Baba Lena. She decided to start traveling when she was 83. She even opened an Instagram account with the help of her grandson and is updating travel pictures there. Do you still feel too old to travel? You can read the whole article about Lena here.
Six years ago, at the age of 83, she decided she wants to see more of the world.
3. Language skills
Many people we have met think that bad language skills are the biggest barrier for traveling. Some think that only those with perfect English skills can go abroad. This is definitely not true! Of course it’s important and nice to be able to communicate with locals and other travelers but you can actually manage with very little English abroad. The most important thing is the attitude and desire to communicate. And anyway, even if you speak perfect English the locals might still not understand you. Almost every place has a wifi nowadays so in more serious situations you can always use Google translate.
We read about a Finnish 71 years old fellow Jorma who has visited every single country in the world without speaking a word of English. Maybe that tells something.
He only speaks Finnish abroad: “I haven’t had any problems even once!*
We have been surprised several times how much the people actually can communicate with each other without a common language. In Japan we had long and nice conversations even with people who only understood the word “Finland”. In this kind of situations the communication mainly happens by using the hands, smiling and showing pictures.
We have often spent nights out with locals who happily chat with us in their own language. We understand maybe one percent of the whole conversation. But does it really matter as long as everyone is having fun? We normally go shopping in a local market here in Vietnam. Bargaining happens by using a calculator or pen and paper and still we always managed to buy what we wanted.
On the other hand, traveling is the best motivation to learn languages! When you really are in a situation where you need your language skills, is the motivation totally different than when sitting at home with a grammar book. We were also not fluent in any foreign language when Jarkko went for his first trip to France or when Johanna went to study to Germany with her rusty school German. From those times we have developed a lot thanks to traveling.
4. Life situation
It’s easy to forget the travel dreams when your start making a career and get engaged with things like mortgages and children. These don’t need to be a reason not to travel though because you can always save a small chunk from your monthly budget. And yes, you can travel also with children.
We just met our fellow travelers from Runway – Kiitoradalla blog. This family took a half-a-year break from work life and went to travel around the world with their 8 years old child. Breaking free from the everyday life can sound impossible but there are many ways to arrange a longer holiday from work and keep road school for your child like our friends do.
Traveling with children might have its own challenges but traveling opens up the world for children in a totally different way and turns them into open-minded world citizens. It’s totally different to sit in a biology or history class than see animals in a tropical jungle or explore the pyramids and Macchu Picchu.
On the other hand, many people skip the travels because they don’t have company. Traveling alone might sound scary and maybe embarrassing. In reality, so many people are traveling alone and nowadays it’s as common as going to the supermarket. When you travel alone it is easy to meet new people and on the other hand get to know yourself and improve your self-confidence. When you have survived a one-month backpacking trip alone including all the good and bad moments, you feel like anything is possible!
What if the plane crashes? What if I get sick? Of course bad things can happen when you travel but they can happen at home too. You should never skip traveling because of the fears and the horror stories you heard. From our opinion, it’s better to take the risk and jump into the unknown than regret later because you didn’t dare to do something. Traveling can have its own risks but in most cases, you will get only beautiful memories and new friends and see amazing places.
The more we have traveled and met people, the more we have noticed that in the end we all are quite similar, regardless in which country you happened to be born. Most of the people are helpful and friendly and we have had very nice meetings with locals.
For us, traveling also means going outside your comfort zone and challenging yourself. Traveling is the best way to develop yourself and widen your perspective. The courage you gained during your travel will reflect everything else in your life as well.
What prevents you from traveling?